White Iron Maiden by Mary Alexandra Stiefvater

White Iron Maiden Cover ImageWhite Iron Maiden
by Mary Alexandra Stiefvater

Genre: Poetry










I can’t breathe
Not from the weight of the crinoline skirts
Or the pinwheel roses
It isn’t the dupioni silk
Cascading in a ball gown silhouette
Or the millions of tiny buttons up my back
It’s not the sweetheart neckline choking my air
It’s not the undergarments that push me in
Or the boning holding up the lace bodice
It’s me
And I finally know it

I can’t breathe
As they gently lay the tulle over my face
I feel the prison door swing shut
Held in this white iron maiden
About to faint

They look so happy
As they trap the wild thing
Ready to traipse her down
The long promenade
So everyone can see
She is theirs

Unable to stand
I fall into the only chair without arms to hold me
Grasping for how I got here
Suddenly its all clear
Despite the heady scent of lilies

They are so happy
Walking out the door
And as the white iron maiden punctures my lungs
All I see are scissors
And I run
Grabbing the only defense I know
Tearing down the corridor
Cutting, ripping, pulling off
Every inch of the maiden
Leaving her strewn on the floor
I run
Straight into you
And you look sad
Is all you say

And I wonder how I got here
How close I was to capture
How wild I feel now
Running from the maiden
Towards the unknown
Now I’m happy again
Finally I can breathe

Copyright ©2015 by Mary Alexandra Stiefvater

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about the author

Mary Alexandra Stiefvater was born in Chico, California and grew up in Stockton, where she was first introduced to theater and dance at a young age. Educated at The University of California at Los Angeles, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Theater, she also studied French cinema and philosophy abroad at the Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III) and Le Centre Parisien d’Études Critiques. After graduation, she moved to England to train at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Five days after graduating from LAMDA, she packed her suitcase for New York to pursue work in theater, film, television and modeling. As well as being a skilled dancer, Mary Alexandra received her stage combat certificate from the British Academy of Dramatic Combat. She is trained in a variety of different weapons and unarmed combat.

Her first break came on The Late Show with David Letterman where she regularly appeared in comedy skits. At the same time, did motion capture work for the character of Mona Sax in Max Payne 2 with Rockstar Games. The collaboration with Rockstar Games continued on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and The Warriors.

Later, she moved to Los Angeles, where further success came in television (The Mentalist, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Wedding Bells & Happy Hour). Known mainly for her work in independent films (Supergator, Bear, Speed-Dating, Driving By Braille, Loveless in Los Angeles, The Perfect Boyfriend, Easy Rider: The Ride Back, & Four Lane Highway), she has also appeared in numerous print ads (Verizon, Babies-R-Us, Fera Skiwear, Quenchwear, Cargo magazine, Stuff magazine & The San Francisco Embarcadero Christmas Catalog), commercials (Bud Light, Volvo, Lupus PSA, Red Bull Sugar-free, Style Network, 1-800-Collect & TGIFriday’s) and web-series (Playdate & Rules of the League).

In order to sustain longevity in the ever-changing entertainment industry, she started producing and writing. In 2006 she produced the award-winning short film, Bad Habits, with the production company she helped found, Habit Forming Films. Stiefvater then produced Wedding for One, 11-44, and The Room, each directed by Kristina Lloyd. The two met in acting class at UCLA and have collaborated on several projects together. After many years of co-writing, her first, solo, full-length script, Squaw, was nominated for Best Screenplay in two festivals. In 2012, her first books, In My Contrary Garden and Cocoa For Saturdays were published. Her sophomore effort, On The Merry-Go-Round was released in 2013 with The Sun She Sets and Fair The Rose following in 2014.

Mary Alexandra continues to work as a producer, actress, model, screenwriter, photographer and poet.